Has your tech team ever missed a deadline? Seeing the task overdue for days or weeks is one of the worst things. It means the tech team failed to organize their time as was required and now has a backlog. 60% of project managers, as per the stats, claim PM software helps them estimate timelines more precisely, but it’s only a small part of deadline management. If it were so simple — pick the right tool and get an impeccable delivery! In fact, there are many more areas of control, and they refer to how you organize your workflow.

What are the main pitfalls of the tech team deadline management techniques, and, on the contrary, what are the best practices?

Why are Deadlines Important?


  • Help set priority

  • Enhance creativity and motivation

  • Help with over-editing and lingering

  • Bring order and keep everyone within productive scopes

  • Provide a much-needed understanding of goals

Project deadline management makes the project goal achievable by establishing a clear progress bar. Setting them is a crucial part of success.

What Is the Price of Missing Deadlines?

In the IT sector, the importance of deadlines could not be overrated. Moreover, it matters for both companies and specialists. Here are the typical repercussions of poor deadline management.

  • Damage to a specialist’s or team’s reputation, loss of trust in the eyes of clients and stakeholders, and possible customer churn.

  • Financial losses if there are penalties or contractual obligations tied to timely delivery.

  • Missing market opportunities because of the postponed product releases and allowing competitors who meet their deadlines to gain an edge in the industry.

  • Burnout of team members, as they constantly work under pressure of overdue deadlines.

  • Resource reallocation within a company. It can affect the progress of other projects that depend on the same resources.

  • Scope creep, as when deadlines are missed, stakeholders might request additional features or changes to the project, often without extending the timeline. Thus, meeting the original objectives becomes even more challenging.

  • Legal disputes, especially if contracts or service level agreements (SLAs) are involved. This can lead to litigation and financial liabilities.

  • Loss of skilled IT professionals who’ve tired of the stress associated with tight schedules, and struggling with tech talent retention in the future.

  • Loss of innovation and creativity, as there may be less time for creative problem-solving and thorough testing when you are rushing to meet deadlines.

  • Chronic delays may lead to project cancellations, wasting resources and time invested in the project.

So, how do you manage deadlines to avoid such consequences? Let’s see what are the most common mistakes and how to fix the situation.

Deadline Failure: Main Reasons

The Task is Constantly Changed

Imagine a cook whose recipe changes every 15 minutes. Will they be successful in putting a ready-to-eat dish on the table on time? Will it be tasty? Will the customers come back to his restaurant? We don’t think so.

The same happens to the software development project. If the requirements for the app, software, or website functionality change, there will be delays. There will also be no guarantee the result will be successful, user-friendly, and popular. Constant changes lead to confusion and can influence the professionals’ motivation. This leads to failed deadlines and backlogs.

The Team is Left in the Dark

Only 5.9% of businesses communicate goals to their teams daily. 60% of companies do not have a long-term strategy for their internal communication. Dysfunctional communication is cited as a reason for failed deadlines and ineffective collaboration by 86% of professionals.

Without clear and transparent communication, the teams will not meet the project’s deadlines and are likely to fail.

Project Deadline Management Has No Clear Goal

  • What is the goal?

  • Where will the end point be?

  • What will the team accomplish and what for?

Understanding the clear and final answers to these questions is crucial when managing deadlines. Having no clear goal or endpoint makes the tasks confusing and deadlines optional.

It’s a good idea to look for a Business Analyst for hire to achieve data-driven goals as those specialists skilled at uncovering idles and streamlining business processes.

There is No Tracking System

Tracking the project’s progress is important for its success

There is an abundance of ways to track the project’s timeline:

  • Gantt Charts — Monday.com, ClickUp, Ganttpto, Wrike

  • Kanban boards — Asana, Jira, ProjectManager, Trello

  • Calendars — Google Calendar (among many options)

  • Activity logs — EventSentry, ManageEngine, Atlassian

The key is to organize your deadline management software in an ecosystem. Research shows that 82% of professionals do not use any time management systems and rely on lists or other DIY solutions. The same research says 25% of professionals use the “Do whatever is the most urgent right now” system, which can be extremely counterproductive when you need to manage deadlines and retain quality.

How to Manage Deadlines: Best Practices

The Goals Should Be SMART

  • Specific — the project’s goals are more likely to be met in accordance with the deadline if they are specified and outlined.
  • Measurable — there should be clear and understandable metrics that can be measured and fulfilled.
  • Relevant — long- and short-term goals should coincide and be relevant to the project’s values.
  • Time-based — every goal should have specific and realistic time-brackets.

Setting SMART goals and timeframes is a must for managing deadlines.

The Timeframe Should Be Realistic

Developing a concept, designing, coding, testing, releasing, and patching a mobile app in 3 weeks is simply impossible. It takes 3-4 months to develop an app. Take other stages into consideration, and it may add up to a year — from conceptualizing to releasing a working mobile app.

When setting project deadlines, be realistic and give the tech team a room to breathe, think, and be creative. If you have multiple deadlines to achieve, try not to set them all within close dates. This way, the final product will be of the highest quality and on time.

The Team Should Communicate and Understand the Pitfalls

Team communication is vital

33% of professionals say a lack of open and honest communication results in low productivity and morale. It is also important that the team understand where they can come across difficulties right from the start. They will know where they should pull resources and overcome obstacles together, saving time, effort, and other resources.

Encourage your team to communicate and collaborate, especially on difficult tasks and during stressful periods.

  • Hold regular status meetings to review project progress, discuss roadblocks, and adjust schedules if necessary. These meetings keep everyone informed and accountable.

  • Implement feedback loops, allowing the team to reflect on past projects and identify areas where deadlines were missed or met.

Everyone Should Do What They Do Best

In the right place at the right time — that is one of the key mottos of successful deadline adherence. Trying to make developers into managers and forcing your designers to oversee the process of front-end development is simply counterproductive.

Let everyone be at their best and do what they do best. Do not waste your time on unnecessary processes and training. You might simply not have any.

Look at the team as if it were a puzzle — one piece in the wrong place, and the whole thing doesn’t and will never work.

The Stakeholders Should Be Involved in the Process

The project usually involves dozens of stakeholders:

  • The CEO and the CTO of the tech company

  • PM’s, BA’s, QA’s, etc.

  • The Team Lead

  • Developers, designers, tech writers, and so on

The entire team, including the C-suite managers, should be involved in the project and be in the know about the requirements, the deadlines, and the roadblocks.

Everyone should be working like a well-oiled machine. This will help resolve questions and issues fast and the deadlines will be met 100%.

How to Advance Your Deadline Management Techniques

You can manage deadlines even more comfortably with the lifehacks listed below.

📍 Agile Project Management. Divide long-term deadlines into a series of short-term deadlines by breaking down tasks into manageable sub-tasks with their own due dates. Thus, you can build an agile development team.

📍 Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Implementation of the automated CI/CD pipelines reduces manual errors and accelerates software release cycles.

📍 Prioritization. Use techniques like MoSCoW (Must-have, Should-have, Could-have, Won't-have). Focus on delivering essential functionalities first.

📍 Time Blocking. Encourage team members to block out dedicated time slots for focused work and meetings to minimize interruptions. That idea can help you manage multiple deadlines at the same time.

📍 Buffer Time. Factor in buffer time for unforeseen delays and challenges. Padding deadlines slightly can provide a safety net for unexpected issues.

📍 Knowledge Sharing. Maintain up-to-date documentation to ensure that team members have easy access to information, reducing time spent searching for answers.

📍 Risk Mitigation. Take into account any factors which could impact deadlines and try to address them in advance.

📍 Estimation Techniques. Use various estimation techniques, such as story points or function points, to assess the complexity of tasks and make more accurate predictions about completion times.

📍 Time Tracking. Ask team members to track their time on tasks to see what aspects of their work need optimization.

📍 Collaboration with Customers. Involve your customers in the development process to gather feedback early and ensure alignment with their expectations.

📍 Automated Alerts and Notifications. Use automated alerts and notifications to remind team members of upcoming deadlines and keep everyone on track.

📍 Skill Development. Invest in training for team members to improve their efficiency and productivity.

📍 Personal Time Management Techniques. Encourage team members to the Pomodoro technique or the Eisenhower Matrix to stay focused and prioritize tasks effectively.

📍 Milestone Celebrations. Recognize and celebrate the achievement of project milestones to boost team morale and motivation.

Tech Team Time Management: Dos and Don'ts

Set realistic time frames and clear goals Change the requirements too often
Encourage your team to communicate Micromanage
Let everyone do what they do best Interrupt the team’s established processes
Use progress tracking software Leave the process unattended
Be sure of the project’s success Question your every step

Time tracking, clear goals, a professional team, and involved stakeholders can only lead the project to one place — a successfully fulfilled deadline.

You might be seeking specialists who can seamlessly join your tech team that requires precise estimates? That’s why one of our main responsibilities is to provide our clients with professionals who know how to manage deadlines and optimize workflow. Want your project to be finished on time? Message us at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help you.


How do you effectively manage deadlines?

It's essential to use project management software, communicate proactively with stakeholders, and be prepared to adapt and adjust your deadlines when necessary. It's also crucial to address the root causes of delays, such as inadequate planning, resource constraints, or scope changes, to prevent recurring issues in the future.

How do you manage tight deadlines?

Here are the 3 main “secrets”. 1. Set realistic expectations by explaining to stakeholders what exactly can be achieved within the given timeframe. 2. Sync with all the engaged team members constantly to address concerns promptly. 3. Stay focused on the project's core objectives and avoid unnecessary changes. You can also delegate non-core tasks (for instance, hiring) to external experts to meet deadlines.

Why do people work better with deadlines?

As the deadline draws near, people typically get a stimulus to complete a task. This raises the priority of getting it done. On the contrary, without a clear endpoint and a structured timeline for a task, specialists may procrastinate. Additionally, knowing the deadlines in advance helps team members distribute their resources and efforts wisely.

Anna has 6-years overall experience in writing. She previously observed financial markets, conducting the daily research on the state of bonds and stocks. She is a keen reader with interest in historical literature and international cuisine. Her latest obsession — approaches to creating family-like teams in remote times.

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